I'm here with a review for the Magical Menagerie Review Event as well as the Gryffindor Red vs Gold Review event for January 2019! Kristin! It's been way too long since I've dropped by your author's page, so here I am to do a bit of catching up.
OMG! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! SERIOUSLY, IT'S LIKE YOU'VE WRITTEN ABOUT MY SOUL.
So you know I just came home from traveling for a long period of time and I'm going through all that restlessness of not wanting to be from anywhere. Of wanting to be a child of the world. You captured that feeling exactly in your story. And also you captured the occasional doubts about not putting down roots. This...gah...I just don't have the words, to be honest.
This was such a beautiful way to convey your own experiences moving from place to place, hiking mountains, exploring deserts. It's such a cool lifestyle and I think you should go with it for as long as you can. Forget the roots. You can always grow roots later in life if you really want to...but explore while you can. See the world while you can. Do it all and do it without compromise.
I'm sorry this review is a total mess of ramblyness, but I'm just...having a hard time finding the words to articulate the way that this made me feel. Your writing is always beautiful and moving, but this really hit me in my soul.
Kaitlin! Omg, this review is everything ♥ I'm so touched that the story meant this much to you. I know this is a short response I'm writing to such a lovely review, but to me, the fact that you couldn't find words to articulate how the story made you feel speaks volumes to me, and I'm so honored that you were able to relate to it on such a deep level. Thank you so much for your review ♥
How is it that I'm not-so-casually obsessed with this story, yet I've never formally reviewed it?
Kristin, I'm not kidding. This is beautiful. I love it and come back to it often. I've felt the way the speaker in this story feels, as I know you have from your note about it being "somewhat autobiographical." I often wish I had the freedom and financial means to travel more and see the world.
My fiancé and I took a road trip this past summer all around the southwest United States. I thought about this story on that trip. There's something so awe-inspiring about being in nature, far from anyone else. And there's something that makes you feel so incredibly small. I love that this story captures those feelings.
The fact that you've captured such a dichotomy in 262 words brings me so much joy. The emotions in this story—from the feelings of excitement and possibility to isolation and loneliness—might sound to some like they don't go together, but in this story they absolutely do.
I'm not even sure if calling it a "story" is quite right. It feels more confessional and honest than that—not that stories can't be those things too! There's a tone almost like a diary entry. But also like a letter to a best friend. (Which reminds me, side note, that writing this in the second person was a fantastic choice.)
Anyhow, I just wanted to officially post here and tell you how wonderful this story is. Sorry for not coming around sooner!
Hey Emily! Ahh, thank you so much! I'm so glad you stopped by to review this, and of course so glad to hear that you love this story, thank you! ♥
I'm so flattered that you were thinking about this story during your road trip! I'm not sure if you knew this, but I actually was living in my car in the Southwest US at the time I wrote this, working for one of the big national monuments you might possibly have visited during your trip! So the fact that the landscape there reminded you of this story is such a cool thing to hear. Also yeah, I love what you said about nature making you feel small. I'm glad you appreciated the way you get that feeling in this piece too.
You're right, 'story' might not be the most accurate description - I like that you said it simultaneously feels like a diary entry and a letter. It was, essentially, a journal entry, just ended up more poetic and thoughtful than most of my journal entries :P I'm really glad you liked the use of second person, too.
I really appreciate this review! Thank you so much, and I'm so glad that you like the "story" ;)
back when i first read this i thought it was just so beautiful and i didn't really have the words to leave a proper review so instead, your story inspired me to make you a banner - and tbh that banner is one of my favourite graphics i made this year :)
i love how, even while nostalgic and a bit sad, this story, to me, speaks about adventure. and i love that about it. i love the fact that there's this person (you) who just seems so free. maybe not free from doubting themselves or comparing themselves to others, but still free in spirit. i think it's wonderful.
as always, your writing is superb and that becomes increasingly obvious when i read something like this - short and yet so impactful and meaningful and, again, beautiful.
Hey Kris! Thank you so much! I absolutely adore that banner btw, it's gorgeous. <3 You are so talented. And it's really flattering that my story inspired something so beautiful!
it's also really wonderful to hear that you got so much out of the story, thank you! I appreciate your comments about my writing as well - thank you so much ♥♥♥
When I saw you were up on review tag, I knew I had to stop by and give you a bit of return love after the lovely review you left for me, which I plan on replying to in the near future hopefully. Anyway, this was lovely. It had a wonderful sense of mystery and the adventure captured in such a short piece. It kind of made me want to pack my bags and go out.
Yet, you mixed in some sadness into this piece as well. I love the mix of emotions you created in such a short space. Seeing this person alone and not sure where they are from evokes compassion and resonates I think with a lot of people as I am sure we have all had questions of where we are from, where we are going who we are.
Honestly, this was just lovely and the images were bright and vivid I could see everything perfectly and that is amazing. With this being stream of consciousness, I'm even more stunned. You captured some magic right here, to say the least, and I am so very glad that you shared!
Aww! Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed this and that you liked the imagery, and that the themes resonate. Thanks so much for reading and for your wonderful review <3
I'm here with a review for nominating for the monthly awards. Thank you for helping us out! You've been one of the members that have nominated the most, and I really appreciate that. And I don't know, maybe you might've preferred a review on Icarus, but I just had to do this one. You see I read this last month for the newsletter, but in the end, Emily ended up being the one to review it, so you never actually got to hear what I thought, and I felt like this was a good time to let you know how much I loved it.
Because I absolutely loved it. I wasn't sure if I was going to, because it isn't the sort of thing I usually like to read (I usually prefer stories that are a little bit longer), but now I'm pretty sure this is one my favourite things on the archive. You write about your own life and the joy of travelling around, of being alone in nature. You experience things that most of us can only dream of experiencing, but you also show us the downside - the sacrifices you have to make to live this life. You show us the loneliness of it; the feeling of not having a place to belong. And it takes so much courage to be that honest with readers, so I truly admire and respect you for being that open with us. And I'm very glad you wrote this, because this was really beautiful.
Your life is very different from my own. I've never really liked travelling that much. I much prefer staying home, in one place. I can go vacation, but I don't like being away for more than 2 weeks (and now I'm about to do 4-5 months in another country, so that's gonna be a challenge). But the way you describe your life, it sounds so exciting that I kind of feel like travelling more myself. The imagery. I mean you don't even use a lot of words to describe it, but I can just visualise it perfectly in my head. It's absolutely beautiful.
I'm just very happy this won Story of the Month, because I absolutely loved it. Thank you so much for sharing!
Awww! This is so sweet of you! (And honestly, I appreciate reviews on anything, I have no preferences :)
One of your favourite things on the archive??!?!! :-O I can't even begin to tell you how much that means to me! Thank you! I'm so flattered. Especially as it's not really the sort of thing you usually read (I totally understand this actually, as I don't often read drabbles either XD ) I appreciate all your insight and how much you thought about this short story, and I'm glad you were able to visualise everything so well! Thank you! And, I hope you really enjoy your months abroad and that you feel at home there. <3
Thanks for the review! ♥
I'm so glad that this story won Hufflepuff's Story of the Month, because it's so beautiful, and I feel so blessed to have been able to read it. Its brevity makes it more impactful, because you manage to pack in so much feeling into five short paragraphs, and that just feels so much stronger than a longer piece would've.
I know that you recently got back from three weeks on a mountain! And in many ways, I'm so envious that you're able to travel to so many amazing, amazing places, because I'm unsure if I'll ever get the chance to go anywhere spectacular like that. But the great thing is, I can live a little bit through works like these, where people describe the freedom that traveling gives them.
And I really, really love this piece. I can't even begin to describe how I felt the freedom, the openness that you wrote about. I have such a longing to go see the world after reading this, and to step away from the everyday world for a bit. I'm so in love with the words you used, and the metaphors, and the descriptive language.
I particularly love this -- But today you are from the mountains. Yesterday you were from the desert, and last week, the ocean.
This is so, so beautiful. It definitely deserves Story of the Month, no doubt about it. Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece! I really, really love it.
Eeeep thank you so much! It was honestly a huge surprise to see that this story had won - when I wrote it I never expected it to be anything, or even get noticed? like, I wrote it for me, just to get out some thoughts from my head and onto paper. To say I'm stunned with the response it's received would be an understatement.
I'm so thrilled that you got so much out of this story in reading it. It's always wonderful to hear that your writing has had an impact on someone and I'm honored that this piece stirred up a lot of feelings and curiosity. Thank you so much for your compliments about my writing style as well, I'm so glad you liked the descriptions and metaphors.
Thank you so much for reading and for your review! I appreciate it so much! ♥
Kristin! It's been far too long since I read any of your work <3
This was... stunning. It was so raw and honest and beautifully evocative, and I feel kind of honoured that you were happy to share this with us and we got this glimpse of your life through this poem. Perhaps part of what I'm reading into it is because I know you a bit (and you've said it's autobiographical), but I thought you managed to convey so much with this piece in spite of its brevity, and I really, really enjoyed it.
The descriptions in this were so beautiful. I loved the way that you conjured up images of the desert and the mountains and the ocean - the wanderer's life, constantly setting out anew and writing your own adventure in the book of life, rather than following a path that's been written for you. I got a real sense of Fernweh from this and I could feel that passion for travelling and exploring tingling through every word of this piece.
And yet there's a flip side to the lifestyle that so many people dream of, and I think it's so remarkably honest of you to share that. Moving around so much means you cut ties from "worldly belongings", but it also makes you question where home really is, and wonder about the relationships and friendships that you make. New people can have a huge impact on your life or they can cut across it and simply end up as yet another person you've met and watched move on and settle down.
Your acknowledgement of that aspect of this lifestyle was so raw and open, but I loved the sense of satisfaction that came through the end of this poem. It reads as someone who's recognised the costs of a lifestyle, and knows that they can feel lonely and isolated, but also recognises the true beauty of the world around them - a world that so few people truly see - and becomes one with it, in some ways. And it really made me smile to read your introspection and the way that the protagonist comes to terms with their way of life through this piece.
Thank you so much for sharing something so honest and beautiful <3
Thank you so much, I'm thrilled that you liked this and that you felt so much from reading it! This is such an insightful review and I appreciate the depth with which you've thought about the story. I'm honestly so flattered to hear it called beautiful - thank you so much.
Hey there! I'm here for the winter wonderland event.
I've heard lovely things about your poem by now, so I thought I'd swing by and finally give it a read. Light as it may seem upon first glance,that it's about exploring, travel, and being out there in the world with no roots tying you down to one place. But then upon a closer look, it's rather melancholic. While the prospect of aimless travel may be alluring at young age, and there's no doubt it's so much fun a lot of the time... I suppose at certain point, if you are alone and lonely, you'll start to wonder if you're just doing it to fill the gaps in your life.
I do believe that pieces of writing that stem out from that 'introspective mood' you mentioned is usually the most honest. And I suppose that's why you'll find it resonates with many people. While it might have come out of your very own unique experience of the world, there are always fragments in it, worries, concerns, questions that have crossed all our minds at some point or another.
What I really love is how you analysed both sides of the experience. The joy of it, the wonder of it, but also the lonliness that may come with all of that. It really is lovely and deserves all the good reputation that has been circulating around.
Aw! Hi Manno! Thanks so much for stopping by with this lovely review!
It's wonderful to hear that you think this resonates with a lot of people. That's honestly so great to hear because it was during a particularly lonely time that I wrote this, and it's nice to think that it's got somewhat of a shared experience in it, or at least one that others can relate to, as that makes it a bit less lonely, so to speak. I totally agree with you about honest writing coming out of an introspective mood - this is definitely some of my most honest work.
Thank you so much for your kind words, and I'm so happy that you enjoyed this! Thanks for the review!
At Sam and Bianca's recommendation, I have stopped by to read this poem.
It's lovely. Very provoking and beautiful. It makes me want to expereince all the wonders of the world that you reference. Oceans, mountains, deserts, stars. You're giving me wanderlust.
However, I have to disagree witrh the assertion (not made by you) that this is not sad. Maybe it's because we've talked a little about this, but I feel there is a definite sense of melancholy alongide the wonder. When i write, I think a lot about honesty, and telling the truth about the human experience. Not just the shiny or dramatic parts, but all of it. You've done that here. On the one hand, there is so much joie de vivre in the idea of exploration and travel, and living in the wonder of those moments. That's a very real experience, and one that many people (me included) envy. But then, on the flip side, there's a pensive wondering about what life is made up of, and what living that full-of-wonder, present-in-this-moment life, which we often hold as an ideal, might also ask us to sacrifice.
Truly, this is a highly successful piece, and I hope you're very proud of it. It resonates deeply, it holds complexity. Usually I'm terrible at understanding/reviewing poetry, but there is something so tangible about your description here.
I am also interested in the parallel between this poem and Icarus, and the question of what it means to feel ungrounded, which is evoked in the poem and is also something lily expereinces when she returns to the "normal" world. You write this topic brilliantly.
Seriously, I absolutely love this. Gorgeous, and just a littlest bit heart breaking, too. Cathartic, i suppose.
Renee ♥♥ Thank you so much! Omg, this is such an amazing, thoughtful review - maybe because the story itself is quite personal, and I appreciate when people are able to really understand what I was trying to say with it. I can tell how much thought you put into this (which is itself amazing because I know it was like 2am when you wrote this and I am generally a zombie after 10pm)
I don't think I wrote it specifically intending for it to be sad, but I was kind of lonely at the time I wrote it, so with that hovering in the back of my mind, it definitely leaked into the stream of conciousness that was this story. Maybe some people don't see it as sad because the sad is sort of on a deeper level and not present at the surface - maybe you have to know to look for it. (Sometimes I think that's true about life, too. People always put on a smile and sometimes there's a lot more behind it that you can't tell unless you look for it.) And wow, you've completely, succinctly nailed everything about this piece that I was trying to say, the way you compared the sense of wonder and freedom with what you have to sacrifice for it. And that it tells the truth habout the human experience- wow. This review is everything. ♥
Thank you so much - I'm honeslty so touched that you said it resonates and is complex.
Wow, you know, I'd never thought of any parallels between this and Icarus. Mainly because Icarus is fiction and this is really not. But you're right, and I see it- I do seem to write a lot about ungroundedness these days. I wonder why? :P (How obvious is it that my zodiac is an air sign? :P)
Thank you soooo much for this review, it was honestly such a treat to see this. Love you! ♥
I just came here after reading a bunch of poetry, and I thought I got to be done having an existential crisis! No? Fine then.
Reading original fiction this site is really remarkable, because so many of the stories feel so very personal. And, as I know a thing or two about you, I think I can say I see quite a bit if you n this story. But it’s also difficult to comment on sometimes, not knowing which if any parts are fictionalized.
I really liked how you used “you only exist in the moment” and how that ties into not so much having a single place of belonging. It is a lovely concept, somewhat bittersweet, but I really like it.
I found the paragraph beginning ”when you were young” to be very interesting. I think typically the experience is that kids dream of having a very colorful and exciting life, and end up living a “boring” life that they didn’t want (at least as kids). This paragraph is kind of the reverse - you describe a child whose imagination of the future involved fairly typical things, and grew up to have an untypical adulthood.
I loved the last paragraph. It took the uncertainty that came before and put it in an optimistic note. The description of the car was so picturesque and real, I loved it!
Saaaaaaaam ♥♥ Yeah sorry about the surprise existential crisis :P Your mandrake story collab unexpectedly gave me an ethical crisis, so there. :P
Ha, yeah, you are correct... it's basically non-fiction. When I said it was 'somewhat' autobiographical I actually meant 100%.
Thanks, I'm glad you liked the use of that line!
That's such an itneresting thought about that paragraph, how it kind of reverses what's typical. I'd never really considered that, and I like how you made the comparison to kids' dreams of exciting lives and then ending up having a 9-5 at a desk job or something that didn't fit with their plans of being an astronaut. Kind of an interesting twist I'd never thought about, I love that you pointed that out.
I'm very glad you liked the last paragraph. I honestly needed to write that to remind myself to not feel too down. Hehehe and I have never heard my car described as picturesque. It's the color of dust. From dust, not just because it's painted that color XD
Thank you so much for your review! ♥♥♥
My beautiful Kristin! Here's a snowball (hug) for you! And a thank you for spoiling me with your lovely Jimmy reviews... :)
By the way, how is it that there was something on your AP I hadn't read yet and I'm noticing only now???
This is so beautiful! It's just amazing how much of yourself you put in so little words... and such lovely words, it almost sounds like poetry, I so love it!
The first paragraph, the happiness of being just you and nature and life. I can feel it all, the sun, the blue sky, your favourite song playing, the call of the mountains... the land is an empty page, your footsteps ink. Isn't it just perfection?
There is so much pain, so much need for stability, for roots, for a place to belong in the next two paragraphs, and once again I can feel it all. I can sort of relate to it, too, even if for different reasons. All those questions without answer, the world moving on, expecting you to fit in its schemes and conventions, when you just don't. It's so very relatable to me, even if I have never travelled more than 100 km for work and have lived in the same house for all my life (which is sort of unconventional, now that I think about it? Anyway...)
I love that this ends on a hopeful tone. Maybe you can't exactly say where you are from, but you can live the moment, and you can enjoy the beauty of the world, you can be part of the world as a whole, and that's so wonderful!
I will close this (I'm not sure if it classifies as a review) by reminding you that you are beautiful and that I love you!
Snowball hug again!
Chiara ♥♥♥ This review totally made my day. Thank you so much. I'm really glad to hear that the first paragraph is effective enough in its descriptions that you can feel the setting, that's wonderful! Also thrilled that you liked that line - I was quite proud of that one :)
Oh wow, I really love your next paragraph. This means so much to me. You're very right in that a lot of this story is about belonging, and having someone be able to relate to that experience is so valuable. Even if you haven't had the same particular circumstances, I think the desire to belong is more universal than just what was described in this story and that's what you picked up on. I appreciate that you were able to relate to that - although I'm sorry as well, because it's a lonely feeling and I wouldn't wish that upon you ♥
Thank you so much for this absolutely amazing review. I appreciate how deeply you thought about this story. ♥
Btw, thank you for nomintating this for featured story! ♥ You're so kind!
Kristin wrote something new! KRISTIN WROTE SOMETHING NEW! And original, woo hoo!
I love this especially: The land is an empty page, your footsteps ink. And I can definitely see where the inspiration came from, what with all the adventures you're having! I love the unpredictability (that's a word, right? Yes, I am writer.) of the weeks and what you'll see in the world and it's perfect and making me want to go out and do something. I really love this, K!
I did write something! haha. Aw thank you, I'm glad you liked that line. haha, though 'adventures' = work, but yeah, essentially :p it was inspired by real life. I'm glad you liked it - & happy to hear it's motivated you to go do something cool! Thanks so much for your review! <3
Awww Kristin, this is amazing! I've never read any of your OF before, and this was just absolutely beautiful. I love the introspectiveness, the vividness of the setting - it's a quiet kind of story, and it feels so true, if you know what I mean. Sorry for my terrible explanation and review, but I've not been on the archives for a long time, and reading this was one of the best things to come back to.
I can't believe you wrote this on your phone. :) You're amazing - please do write more of your wonderful writing, even if you're out in the wilds doing your wonderful ecological research!
teh!! ♥ Hi, and thank you for stopping by to read and leave this wonderful review! I'm so glad you liked this piece. I'm especially flattered that you liked the vividness of the description, because you are one of the writers I really admire in terms of amazing description, so eeep, thanks. As for it being 'one of the best things to come back to' - gah! I'm blushing! Thank you!
Technically, I wrote it in a notebook, and then typed it up on my phone right afterward. (And then had to proofread intensely because as you can imagine, there were a lot of typos to weed out :P)
Thank you so much! This review was such a wonderful thing to find today. ♥♥